Aug 092015
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Falcon Lake picnic area

Time at Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park relaxes and rejuvenates

People who live in places with long, harsh winters cherish and embrace their summers. That is true in my home province of Manitoba, where summer for many means time at the lake. Not surprising in a place known as the “land of 100,000 lakes.” The largest lakes in Manitoba are Lake Winnipeg (over 24,000 square kilometres), Lake Winnipegosis (over 5,000 square kilometres), and Lake Manitoba (over 4,500 square kilometres), but there are many other lakes of varying sizes attracting cottagers and visitors.

This summer I spent five days visiting a friend at a cabin she rented at Falcon Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park and was reminded of the appeal of lake life.


Whiteshell Provincial Park is 2,800 square kilometres of protected wilderness parkland in eastern Manitoba, with sandy beaches and forests bumping up against rugged Precambrian Shield. It contains more than 15 lakes, hiking trails, canoe routes, cross-country skiing and snow mobile trails, cottage lots, and campsites. Falcon Lake is at the southern end of the park.

Boats at West Hawk Lake

Boats at West Hawk Lake

Visitors and residents may spend time boating, fishing, or doing a variety of water sports. Not me – I was too busy with other things.

Trees at Falcon Lake

Watching the light and shading though the trees change as the day wore on


Looking at the clouds and daydreaming

Shades of green

Counting the many shades of green

Path at Falcon Lake

Taking a walk

Whiteshell Provincial Park

On a more energetic day, we drive through the southern part of the park

West Hawk Lake beach

Beach at West Hawk Lake
(West Hawk is the site of one of Canada’s 26 known meteorite impact craters.
The lake is 110 metres deep . Because of its depth it is used for scuba diving training.
The depth also means the water is cold.)

Lily Pond in Whiteshell Provincial Park

Lily Pond was created 3.75 billion years ago by advancing glaciers

Brereton Lake Beach

Beach at Brereton Lake

And there was still more to do when we returned to the cabin.

Deer at Falcon Lake

Watch deer go through the yard

We also watched chipmunks chase each other, but they were too fast for my camera. (Or I was too slow, having adjusted to lake time.)


Relax by the fire in the evening

And wake the next day to another round of activity, sitting on the deck, listening to the birds serenade us and the breeze rustle through the leaves, in between crossword puzzles, books, and idle conversation.

There is something soothing about being at the lake, something healing in the warm rays of the sun (providing you use sunblock and don’t overdo it), something refreshing in the mingled scent of pine, water, and dried leaves. I felt the layers of stress I hadn’t realized I had peel away, like a bird’s molting feathers, leaving behind a lighter and renewed self. It’s no wonder the relaxing and rejuvenating experience of “going to the lake” is so popular.

PreCambrian Shield


Lake flora

What do you like about going to the lake? Where is your relaxing and rejuvenating spot?

This post is part of Travel Photo Mondays.

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  26 Responses to “Lazy Lovely Lake Days”

  1. Completely enticing! I remember my many years n Wisconsin and those long harsh winters. You do cherish those summer months. I still miss my old lake home. Summers there were a slice of heaven!

  2. I too remember the long, gray and cold winters when we lived in Montana and how we tried to live outdoors as much as possible and squeeze every moment that we could from the warm summer days! Gorgeous photos of time well – spent! Anita

  3. I love your blend of Canada and Arizona! How lucky you are to enjoy the best of both worlds!

  4. My husband grew up in Northern Ontario and I would love the summer time spent on the lake there. Sort of spoiled me for every other lake I’ve see. So pristine and the air crisp and clean. I can certainly see why you are happy in this spot!

    • Alison, there are so many lovely pristine lakes across Canada. The more I travel, the more I come to appreciate them and the crisp, clean air.

  5. Hi Donna. I think wherever you live in Canada summer means going to the lake, and in Nova Scotia the ocean. When I lived in Nova Scotia it was a yearly ritual to rent a cottage for a week and just sit back and relax. My dad is 92 this year and he still goes to my brother’s cottage every summer. Your photos are lovely.

    • Nancie, I’d love to spend part of the summer by the ocean in Nova Scotia. I’ve seen only a small part of that province and hope to get back there soon and explore more of it.

  6. This is so true and we have seen that this phenomena in Europe a lot – the sun comes out, even briefly and everyone is out in the sunshine. It makes me wonder whether we in Australia take sun shine for granted. The lakes would be an easy draw card.

    • Paula, in areas where the sunshine is a constant year-round, I think people feel more compelled to be in the sunshine when it is there. That may not be the case in places where the sun is constant. And often, one needs to protect oneself from the intensity of that sun.

  7. What a beautiful area! Didn’t know about West Hawk Lake, but the depth if astounding.

    • Other lakes in the area are no where as deep as West Hawk and vary in depth. I think the shallower lakes are better for swimming because they warm up more.

  8. My husband is a beach person now although that might be an example of “the bird in the hand” since it’s only an hour from our apartment; whereas mountain lakes in our part of Pennsylvania (the southeast) require more of a trek. However, he has many fond memories of the summers of his youth spent on a lake in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Whenever we get withing 50 miles of that place (Stockbridge—as in the James Taylor song), he insists on going to see his lake. My parents worked at a summer camp that had more of a scum pond we had to swim in than a lake. It’s a miracle no one picked up any dangerous microbes in it.

    • Suzanne, clean, fresh lakes are wonderful. Not so great with scum. Manitoba Water Stewardship monitors a number of lakes in the province for alga levels and bacteria levels.

  9. The most wonderful thing about a summer by the lake when you’ve experienced such a harsh winter is – as you pointed out – the amazing shades of green reflecting the way the place is totally buzzing with life 🙂

    • Linda, I never truly captured the myriad shades of green in my photographs. You’re right – the place was buzzing with life.

  10. We have been traveling Europe so much and have been so busy on the book tour, we have forgotten those lovely lazy days by a lake. Thanks for reminding us how relaxing and rejuvenating it can be, Travel has been busyness for me and we must return to this other face of travel.

    • Carol, it’s good to find a balance between busy and lazy travel. I tend to make life too busy sometimes and it’s rejuvenating to slow it down from time to time.

  11. Donna, You’ve so captured the essence of a day at the lake – the best are those lazy lovely ones!

  12. Sounds like I need a day or two at a lake. I remember going on lake journeys when I was a kid. We’d play all day in the lake and have a ball. Evenings were spent talking and playing cards. Electricity kept a few lights going and a frig. How I long for those much simpler times.

  13. How beautiful. Your pictures remind me a lot of Lake Coeur d’ Alene in north Idaho. There’s something undeniably soothing about spending time at the lake during the summer time. I’m reminded of E.B. White’s essay “Once More to the Lake” as well.

    • Thanks Jeri. There is something soothing about being at the lake. Often, we don’t realize how much we need that calming until we’re out there.

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